Australia's Qantas Airlines' Nov. 21 Twitter contest has turned into hashtag hailstorm, as Twitter users have picked up the airline's new promotional tag to lash out at the company—curated in an organized stream for all Twitter users to see.
Qantas' official Twitter account asked its followers: "What is your dream luxury in-flight experience? (Be creative!) Answer must include #QantasLuxury." Unfortunately, the contest came just a day after Qantas and its unions broke off contract negotiations, and following a month-long labor struggle in which Qantas grounded its fleet in late October, a drastic move that stranded thousands of angry customers, according to Reuters.
Twitter users have taken up the promotional hashtag to insult the airline for its insensitivity. Over 500 tweets came in on Nov. 22 alone, according to the Archivist Twitter tool. One user's tweet (@jeremysear) reflected a common theme throughout the stream: "Quick note to corporate Australia: when you're in the middle of crushing your workforce, don't start a Twitter promotion. #QantasLuxury"
As the criticism poured in, Qantas responded on Tuesday, "At this rate our #QantasLuxury competition is going to take years to judge." What may have started as a simple contest has turned into heaps of negative attention for the brand at a time when it should have been relaying key labor updates to stakeholders.